Mack Trucks Trident AF

By: Dave Cox, Photography by: Dave Cox

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The new-breed Mack Trucks Trident has the new MP8 engine for heavy work and is a definite step up from previous models.

Mack Trucks Trident AF
The Mack Trident AF aka the "New Breed Mack Trident" runs a 500hp MP8 engine.
  • Quiet cab with extra 100mm
  • Manual 18-speed gearbox
  • Good vision
  • Nice wide steps
  • Easy cab access

Ask Doug Paynter, the driver for Orica Chemnet, what he thinks about his new Mack Trident AF and you'll know he is passionate about it.

"I'm over the moon with it," he says.

And asked him he would change if he had the chance? "God's honest truth, there's not a thing I don't like about it."

The truck

The Trident is actually referred to by MTD salesman Robbie Shaw as New Breed Mack Trident. It runs the new MP8 engine (Mack Power 800-cubic inch) with 13L rated at 500hp.

It meets its emission control requirements by running an EGR (exhaust gas recirculation) management system. This means that exhaust gasses are re-circulated through the engine and effectively re-burnt, so when they pass through the exhaust system into the air there are no nasty chemicals left in them.

This OHC engine now has a flatter torque curve. Doug says that he prefers to drive it in the 1200-1450 rev range for most of its work.

They have matched it to an 18-speed manual shift Roadranger gearbox.

The clean lines of the blue and white paint job and the fact that it is hooked up to Orica's brand-new five-axle B-train make it a very impressive looking unit. The AF in the name stands for axle forward, as opposed to speccing the truck with axle set back.

I am surprised at how easy the bonnet is to tilt. With one hand and little effort the bonnet lays forward. It is nicely balanced. There are nice wide steps on the fuel tanks, making getting in and out of the cab an easy task. The grab handles are positioned well.


The driver's seat is the top-of-the-line ISRI seat with integrated seat belt and all the lumbar and seat cushion adjustments. Part of this New Breed change is the cab being 100mm deeper, which is great for someone who prefers to drive with his seatback at a slight recline.

There is a completely new dash layout in the New Breed Trident and it works well with its wrap-around portion, giving good access to all switches and a clear view of the gauges.

Standard equipment includes the cross-locks, diff-locks and heated electric mirrors. A Bluetooth phone application is connected through the truck's stereo unit, along with GPS system. A unique feature is the remote unit called Man-Alone alarm, which the driver puts in his pocket when working around the vehicle. If the driver should happen to fall or trip over and render himself unconscious, the alarm will have gone from vertical to horizontal and send an immediate message back to base.

Storage comes by way of some small but effective overhead cubbyholes, dash tray, and big centre locker against the back wall in-between the two seats. There is also plenty of interior lighting. Another big tick in the Trident box is that the cab is quieter with all new noise level padding.

The drive

Trundling down the road at just on 44-tonne seems effortless and the Mack pulls extremely well. On the flip side, stopping comes by way of ABS/EBS with full drum brakes all around and a very efficient Mack engine retarder that has the capacity of 428hp.

The vision out the windscreen is great and even with the exterior mounted air cleaners there are no big blind spots to be of concern. This is because the air cleaner tubes are mounted back very close to the "A" pillar alleviating that potential problem.

The wing mirrors work well and Doug explains that he actually moved them out to the second notch on the arms, which has made them a lot better than they were.

The ride is great with Mack AL460 air suspension.

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